February 26, 2013. My first day on the Uncompahgre River near Montrose, CO was a classic example of highs and lows. I drove up from Durango through the San Juan mountains newly covered with fresh snow with a clear blue Colorado sky.
About 45 minutes in the drive the weather started to change and by the time I reached Silverton, I was in a classic mountain snowstorm. Red Mountain pass is famous for its dramatic drop-offs and I felt fortunate that my side of the road hugged the mountain and I have a great 4-wheel drive vehicle. The good and the bad.
I arrived a little late at the “Paco”, or Pa-co-chu-puk, the tail water fishery below the Ridgway Dam in the Ridgway State Park where I was meeting my fishing partners, Carol Oglesby, Nancy Burdette, Mary Graham, and Phyllis Pool. These Grand Junction area women have quite a few years of fishing experience behind them and it was great to meet other women who are as passionate about fly-fishing as I am.
We were along on the river and found some holes that produced large numbers of fish. At one point Nancy caught a very large cutbow. We wanted to get a photo of this beautiful fish so I rushed up from my fishing spot to help. I took out my point and shoot only to discover the battery was dead. I shoved the camera back into my front pack, but neglected to zip up the pouch. I leaned over to try to help with holding up the fish and my camera fell into the icy cold water. The good and the bad.
We continued to catch fish all day and decided we would leave around 3:30 and go to Montrose for dinner. I was making my last cast when I spotted a heron just across the river from me. I decided to run back to the car to get my Nikon D7000 with the telephoto lens hoping that the heron would still be there when I returned.
When I arrived at my car, I took off my front pack filled with all my gear, picked up my camera and locked the car from the door lock. I was able to get back down to the river on time to take some fabulous photos of the heron who was incredibly cooperative as I edged closer and closer to it.
I drudged back to the car to hook up with everyone and realized a few steps away from the car that I was in trouble. My car keys were in my fishing pack, and my fishing pack was in my car – locked up. Thanks goodness for AAA and patient girlfriends. About 90 minutes later, I’m back in my car and we’re on our way to a great meal and lots of laughs at our restaurant in Colorado. The good and the bad.